Authors announced for 2024 SW Florida Reading Festival

Authors announced for 2024 SW Florida Reading Festival

The Lee County Library System has announced the lineup of authors for the 25th annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival, which happens the first weekend in March.

Authors scheduled to attend the reading festival include suspense authors Jeffery Deaver, Lisa Unger and Ben Coes, along with historical fiction writers Sarah Penner and Charles Todd. Award-winning writer, artist and animated series creator Dan Yaccarino tops the list of youth authors, which also includes Sunshine State Young Readers Award winners Karina Yan Glaser, Karen Kilpatrick, Laura Martin and Joe McGee. Featured teen authors include Florida Teens Read award-winning writer Lamar Giles and fantasy novelist Adalyn Grace.

From romance to thrillers, sci-fi to humor, and graphic novels to nonfiction, an array of genres are represented. The mix of authors will meet fans and showcase their books from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2. The free event will be held on the downtown outdoor campus of the Fort Myers Regional Library, 2450 First St.

The Southwest Florida Reading Festival features author presentations and book signings for all ages, writing awards, digital resource demonstrations, crafts and more. In fulfilling the festival’s mission to promote reading, literacy and library services, every child and teen in attendance will receive a free book at the event.

“I am thrilled the library system’s signature event has reached this amazing milestone of 25 years promoting reading, literacy and library services in Lee County,” said Mindi Simon, director of the Lee County Library System. “Having attended every event, I am so impressed by the range of authors we’ve brought to the community and the dedication of library staff and volunteers who create this world-class event each year.”

Attendees can garner additional access to this year’s festival authors by attending “An Evening with the Authors” on Friday, March 1. This signature fundraising event gives attendees time to mingle with the authors while enjoying dinner in an idyllic setting. The event is held at the historic Burroughs Home and Gardens on the Caloosahatchee River. Tickets are $80 per person and available for purchase online at through the end of January.

Visit for a full list of participating authors and biographies, along with additional event and donation information. More info also is available by calling 239-533-4832.

Teen authors:

Elise Bryant is the acclaimed author of “Happily Ever Afters,” “One True Loves” and “Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling.”

Lamar Giles writes for both teens and adults. A founding member of We Need Diverse Books, Giles is the author of acclaimed novels “Fake ID,” “Endangered,” and “The Last Mirror on the Left” as well as numerous pieces of short fiction.

Adalyn Grace is The New York Times, USA Today, International and Indie bestselling author of the “Belladonna” series and the “All the Stars and Teeth” duology.

Lynn Painter is The New York Times bestselling author of “Better Than the Movies.” She writes romantic comedies for both teens and adults.

Natalia Sylvester is the Pura Belpré and Schneider Family-honor winning author of the young adult novel “Breathe and Count Back from Ten” and adult novels “Everyone Knows You Go Home” and “Chasing the Sun.” Her first picture book, “A Maleta Full of Treasures,” will be released in April 2024.

Kids authors:

Michael Buckley is The New York Times bestselling author of the “Finniverse,” “Sisters Grimm” and “N.E.R.D.S.” series and the co-creator, writer and executive producer of Cartoon Network’s “Robotomy.”

Adrianna Cuevas is the author of the Pura Belpré honor book “The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez,” “Cuba in My Pocket” and “Mari and the Curse of El Cocodrilo.”

Karina Yan Glaser is The New York Times bestselling writer and illustrator of “The Vanderbeekers” series, a New York Times Notable Children’s Book and the winner of the NYC Book Award and the standalone novel “A Duet for Home,” which made the Sunshine State Young Readers Award list.

Karen Kilpatrick’s writing ranges from picture books to early graphic novels. She has penned several award-winning and bestselling series, including “P.I. Butterfly,” “When Pencil Met,” and the 2023 Sunshine State Young Readers Award winner “When Glitter Met Glue.”

Laura Martin works include the 2023 Sunshine State Young Readers Award winners “Glitch” and “The Monster Missions” as well as the “Edge of Extinction” series.

Joe McGee is the author of the chapter book series’ “Junior Monster Scouts,” “Night Frights” and “Creature Campers” as well as the “Peanut Butter & Brains” picture book series. His title, “The Haunted Mustache,” is a 2023 Sunshine State Young Readers award winner.

Jamie Michalak is the author of the “Dakota Crumb” picture books, the “Frank and Bean” books, the “Joe and Sparky” series and many other acclaimed titles for young readers. Dan Yaccarino is the author and illustrator of more than 50 books for children, including “City Under the City,” “Unlovable” and “I am a Story.” Yaccarino is also the creator and producer of the animated series “Doug Unplugs” and “Oswald” as well as the character designer behind the series “The Backyardigans.”

— familynews
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